LSA-DN Weekly Update

Disability Network News
Friday, August 7, 2020


Provider Relief Fund Money Still Available — Informational Webinar Monday

Funds are still available through the Provider Relief Funda program providing relief funds for expenses and lost revenue due to COVID-19. Experts from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will provide an overview and Q & A with community and faith-based providers of healthcare services:     When: Monday, Aug 10, 2020 02:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) Topic: About the Provider Relief Fund   Register here

The Lutheran Services in America Strength & Service Series

Upcoming Series Webinars

Allyship - Fostering Relationships, Lifting Up Voices, Joining In Struggles
Date: August 25, 2020
Time: 1:00–2:30 p.m. EDT
Host: Corey Flournoy, Principal at Creative Outreach Consulting, LLC and Global Head of Inclusion and Diversity at Groupon

The goal of allyship is to create a relationship in which marginalized people feel valued, supported, and heard. Being an ally is not a label - it is a verb.   Leaders from throughout the Lutheran Services in America network are invited to join an engaging, guided conversation about an important relationship needed for success. Though sometimes difficult to achieve for marginalized employees, allyship can be a dynamic and powerful learning and relationship-building tool. By building meaningful two-way relationships imbued with empathy, allies offer and give each other support and commit to lean on and learn from each other. Allyship can strengthen and change the Lutheran Services in America network for the better across cultural lines. This interactive, 90-minute virtual session will be led by Corey Flournoy, Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Groupon and founding partner of Creative Outreach Consulting in Chicago. Register here

A Conversation About the Future of Our Not-for-Profit Senior Living & Care Sector
Date: Tuesday, September 1, 2020
Time: 1:00-2:00 EDT
Hosts: Dan Hermann, President and CEO of Ziegler, Lisa McCracken, Director of Senior Living Research of Ziegler

Ziegler, a long-time sponsor of LSA, will outline the key considerations for not-for-profit senior living providers to help balance the demands of the pandemic while staying focused on the big-picture/strategic direction of an organization. In addition, member CEO’s, David Trost of St. John’s United and Larry Bradshaw of National Lutheran Communities & Services, will be present to respond to key discussion points as well as detail how their organizations are positioning for future, long-term viability in spite of COVID-19.   This session is designed for CEOs, CFOs, COOs and Board Members. Register here.

LSA-DN Summer Meeting

A big “thank you” to the many LSA-DN members who attended our August 6th virtual Summer Meeting.  We were empowered by hearing how our members are meeting and overcoming challenges faced by the continued COVID-19 pandemic.  Eunice Timoney Ravenna of St. Joseph of Cincinnati gave a moving devotion using the words of recently passed Congressman and civil rights pioneer John Lewis.  Lisa Morgan of Lutheran Family Services of Virginia was elected Convener and led the four-hour meeting through thoughtful discussions and thought provoking presentations.  In her last act as out-going Interim Treasurer, Rita Wiersma of Accord gave a financial update, while Mary Mulliet of Samaritas was elected the new Treasurer in abstentia.  The LSA-DN budget was approved, as well as meeting minutes from the Spring 2020 meeting.

Many thanks to Margaret Nimmo Holland (Lutheran Family Services of Virginia) for leading, and Rita Wiersma, Pam Schuessler (KenCrest) and Dan Connors (St. Joseph Home of Cincinnati) for participating in a discussion exploring how the pandemic has affected services and how their organizations are meeting challenges associated with it.  Sarah Dobson, LSA’s Director of Public Policy and Advocacy, provided the attendees with an update on our current advocacy efforts to fight for our members and all health and human services providers in the next Congressional COVID-19 relief package.  Your continued action in these efforts remains vital to our success in moving forward through the pandemic in the coming weeks and months.

We are about to start planning our LSA-DN 2021 Winter Meeting (February 24-26).  While to keep safe the meeting will be remote, we are looking forward to “seeing” you there.  We would like to hear from you about how this meeting could have programming to meet your needs.  Please contact Doug Walter, our new Director of Policy and Advocacy for the network, at

Advocacy Update

Senate Coronavirus Relief Bill Appears Stalled

Negotiations continue toward Senate passage of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools (HEALS) Act, introduced last week, but major differences remain between the House and Senate leadership regarding unemployment insurance and relief to state and local governments, among other issues.  Prospects for striking a deal by the self-imposed Friday deadline are quickly waning.  The Senate legislation continues to neglect key priorities for health and human services nonprofit providers, however Senate Democrats are pushing their Republican colleagues on provider relief provisions to align with the HEROES Act, the COVID-19 relief package passed by the House of Representatives in May.  The Senate bill will need changes to provide an adequate response to the needs of health and human services nonprofits or our country’s most vulnerable people.  It neglects many of the areas most important to our members as outlined in our key priorities and our ongoing advocacy efforts, including forgivable loans for nonprofits of all sizes and additional targeted financial resources for nonprofit front line health and human services providers.  We continue to urge improvements to the HEALS Act, and we ask that you continue to make our voices heard as negotiations continue.  Please join us in sending a message to your Senators by clicking here to use our advocacy tool.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Guidance

As negotiations continue on how to extend the PPP, the Small Business Administration is providing further guidance for borrowers under the program.  Click here for the application form.

Coronavirus Resources

Lutheran Services in America has compiled a list of COVID-19 news and resources that is regularly updated. In particular, we are tracking philanthropic and federal funding opportunities and requirements for our members and compiling a list of upcoming webinars, meetings, and events. Be sure to check out these pages and feel free to reach out to or with any related questions you have.


Trump to Sign Executive Order to Boost U.S. Production of Essential Medicine

President Trump is expected to sign an executive order on Thursday to help increase production of essential medicines, medical equipment and protective gear in the U.S., his trade adviser Peter Navarro said.  More from The Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

Duckworth: Republican coronavirus package would 'gut' Americans With Disabilities Act

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), the first disabled woman elected to the Senate, slammed Senate Republicans’ coronavirus relief proposal in a floor speech Wednesday evening, saying it would “gut” the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Illinois senator called on her GOP colleagues to “join Democrats in supporting two measures that would show the disability community that their party actually gives a darn about them.”  More from The Hill

One Man's COVID-19 Death Raises The Worst Fears Of Many People With Disabilities

Michael Hickson, a 46-year old quadriplegic who'd contracted COVID-19, died at St. David's South Austin Medical Center in Austin, Texas, after the hospital ended treatment for him and moved him from the intensive care unit to hospice care. More from NPR


Missouri voters latest to approve Medicaid expansion

Missouri ballot measure expands Medicaid to about 230,000 low-income residents at a time when the state’s safety net health care program is already experiencing an enrollment surge tied to the pandemic’s economic upheaval. The measure was supported by 53 percent of voters. More from Politico

Advocates in Illinois seek increase to Supplemental Security Income to benefit people with disabilities

With the coronavirus heightening challenges already faced by people with disabilities, activists in Chicago are calling on the state to increase monthly Supplemental Security Income.

The SSI Justice Campaign is proposing the state add $266 to people’s monthly SSI, a federal income program designed to help aged and disabled people who have minimal or no income. The current federal monthly maximum is $783.

More from Chicago Sun Times

Research & Reports

Health Care Workers of Color Nearly Twice as Likely as Whites to Get COVID-19

Health care workers of color were more likely to care for patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, more likely to report using inadequate or reused protective gear, and nearly twice as likely as white colleagues to test positive for the coronavirus, a new study from Harvard Medical School researchers found.

More from Kaiser Health News

Federal report finds Small Business Administration abandoning people with disabilities; federal training programs focus on wrong industries

The National Council on Disability (NCD) – the independent federal agency that first recommended and wrote the initial draft of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – recently released a report to Congress and the President that finds the Small Business Administration (SBA) is abandoning people with disabilities as small business owners.

The new report, 2020 Progress Report on National Disability Policy: Increasing Disability Employment, focuses attention on federal laws, policies, and practices that continue to impede or prevent people with disabilities from obtaining and retaining competitive employment. It finds that the participation of people with disabilities in the labor market is still mostly marked by entrenched poverty and economic exclusion and often as a result of federal policies.

More from Benzinga

Resources, Opinions & Opportunities

Wisconsin should adopt a robust ABLE account program for the disabled

This year, the Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership investigated how Wisconsin can help people with cognitive and physical disabilities increase their independence. One theme emerged: The state should allow people with disabilities to save money for their expenses without fear of losing existing benefits. Wisconsin should follow the lead of 43 other jurisdictions and implement an ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) program. More from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Healthy Cooking Can Come With Many Unfair Barriers for People With Disabilities

The world is designed for able-bodied people; existing systems cater to people with the time, money, resources, and physical ability to grocery shop and cook at home. That often makes eating more difficult for people with disabilities, who are more at risk for other health issues because of lack of access to good, nutritious food.

Morefrom Well+Good

Lutheran Services in America's Front Line Heroes

Each day, Lutheran Services in America posts a story about heroes working on the front lines. Those posts are meant to celebrate the extraordinary work of Lutheran social ministries, and elevate the commitment to serving communities throughout crises. Read front line hero stories here.

To submit stories front line hero stories, email Caitlyn Gudmudsen at

Upcoming Events

LSA-DN 2021 Winter Meeting
February 24-26, 2021
Details TBD


For more information on our topic specific work groups, please email Doug Walter at

  • Policy & Advocacy Team
  • Culture and Engagement Workgroup
  • Administrative Cost Survey Working Group

Keep in Touch

Lisa Morgan
DN Convener
Chief Operating Officer, Lutheran Family Services of Virginia

Mary Mulliet
DN Treasurer
Vice President of Community Services, Samaritas

Doug Walter
Director of Policy and Advocacy, Disability Network, Lutheran Services in America